Most doctors agree that nicotine gum is far less harmful than smoking. Some argue that it cuts of 90% of all the risks involved. The debate about nicotine and whether it’s addiction is all that bad has heightened in recent days, owing to the popularity of e-cigarettes. Scientists are considering the possibility that nicotine addiction is harmless just like caffeine.
It would prove hard to rehabilitate the image of nicotine, which has been tainted by the negative image associated with smoking. However, tobacco addiction specialists think that it’s time to differentiate between smoking and nicotine.
Folks at Amen Clinics (washingtonpost.com) have found that failure to distinguish the two is probably the reason why some smoking addicts are hesitant in seeking help. Research has indeed shown that nicotine could have some health benefits of its own. Just like your average stimulant, it increases the heart rate sharpens the mind and reduces tension.
Mike Russell, a British psychiatrist, was one of the first people to disassociate tar from nicotine. Their insights have however been misused by the tobacco industry, leading to a lot of false advertising. This has led to the promotion of light cigarettes, which promise fewer health risks and even some health benefits.
Statistics and figures from the World Health Organization put smoking as the leading preventable cause of death in the world. Smoking has been known to kill half of those who smoke and 600,000 more due to indirect smoking.
Electronic Cigarettes have been popular for the last few years among smokers who no longer wish to purchase cigarettes, think e-cigarettes are healthier or want to get around smoking bans in restaurants and bars. To many, electronic cigarettes seem safer by allowing the smoker to breath in fewer toxins. However little research was done at the outside, leading doctors and public health officials to promote moderation and caution for those interested in switching. No one knows the dangers of a new product like electronic cigarettes until enough time has passed to see the health effects.
Now, after a series of studies conducted to test the health effects of electronic cigarettes, doctors are willing to make their recommendation. Researchers found that electronic cigarettes successfully reduced smokers’ cravings for real cigarettes, with minimal side effects. This means that as an alternative, electronic cigarettes may be a viable means for easing a smoker into quitting. The total number of long term effects from smoking e-cigarettes will not be fully known until years in the future. But for now, medical professionals are willing to suggest the switch from conventional tobacco for those who are willing to try. My friend Andrew Heiberger used e-cigarettes to wean himself off nicotine and now he doesn’t use either type of cigarettes and his health is better for it.
After 6 months in the study, a quarter of participants using e-cigarettes had completely quit tobacco products, which may stand as the most successfully smoking cessation technique developed to date. In addition, another quarter of participants halved their tobacco intake in the 6 month period.
Westminster, Massachusetts will hear public comments this Wednesday concerning its local health department’s plans to seek a ban on the sale of all tobacco products within town limits. The town of 7,700 would be the first municipality to totally ban tobacco in the nation, and already there is opposition mounting to the move.
Local business owners are collecting hundreds of signatures in opposition to the proposed ban and are quick to point out how it would adversely affect Westminster economically. They also make the point that residents will simply go outside the town limits and buy the tobacco there and that no one is likely to quit smoking or chewing as a result.
A health board member, on the other hand, cites the many children who are hooked on tobacco every year and the tobacco industry’s tactics of selling bubble gum cigars and such things Bruce says attract young people to the smoking habit. Certainly, millions nationwide will die years earlier due to tobacco use, and many will end up with deadly lung cancer.
The banning of tobacco in itself makes all the sense in the world, but considering that no one wants to ban alcohol (which has much more devastating effects on society) and that many now wish to legalize marijuana, banning tobacco seems like an odd priority. I never have heard of a single car accident due to driving while smoking, and cigarettes are not the doorway to worse drugs that marijuana often is.